20 January 2010

Baby I'm a Star

Lest you think I am getting a big head, let me explain the meaning behind this blog post title....

I just finished reading Twilight (it's okay to smirk and roll your eyes, I know, I know, I got all that criticism from my husband). But since I do like to follow the gossip mags from time to time and am not completely immune from what's going on in the world, I was curious to know what all the hub bub was about. For those of you who haven't yet indulged, it's a quick read and will likely take you back to your teen years when you agonized about who you were going to sit next to in the cafeteria; whether that cute boy you liked would ever pay you any attention; how to deal with a crush from a boy you really didn't care for or how to recover from that really embarrassing thing you did in gym class, etc., etc. In the end, it's the ultimate story of unrequited teen love, and a boy so bad he could literally kill you, but I certainly enjoyed all the moments in-between of blushing teens and awkward high school moments.

I have always been quite shy. This may surprise many people who know me now. And I was painfully socially inept as a teenager. I grew up with one of those mothers who was always running from one social event to the next, people adore her and I was constantly being told how lucky I was to have such a fabulous mother. It was very hard for me to find a place for myself and most of the time was happy to stay in the shadows behind her glowing spotlight. I usually kept to a small group of friends with 1 really close girlfriend; we were neither popular nor "losers." We just kind of floated along in this weird social limbo, on the outskirts and never really fitting on. It was a strange existence, especially as I grew up in New York at break-neck speed -- much of your popularity in school was dictated by where you hung out outside of school and who you hung out with from the other private schools, etc. We also didn't have these one-on-one formal-type dates like my friends who grew up in the 'burbs.

In the summers, I used to go to an all-girls camp in Maine and this is where the complexities of dealing with the social ladder-climbing was put on-hold for a few months of the year. Except when we had socials with one of the nearby boys' camps and the preening and courting games would begin. I dreaded these evenings cause it meant hours getting ready for a few awkward dances with a usually pimply, profusely sweating and stammering pre-adolescent boy who I would likely never see again. And then one summer, I met Scott who was a tennis coach at my camp. Now before you get all riled up again, I should mention I was only 14, he must have been at least 21 and "inappropriate" socializing between campers and counselors was strictly forbidden. He was just a really, really cool guy - laid-back and funny from "Minnesoooohda" as he pronounced it.

We spent a lot of time comparing our lifestyles - mine in the big city and his in an industrial small town. And we spent a lot of time talking about music. We both were big Prince fans and he turned me on to Morris Day & the Time. The thing about Scott is that he was probably the first male friend I ever made on my own. He wasn't a neighbor or a class mate or a friend of my mother's. Just someone who took a genuine interest in me and what I had to say, and he showed me that dealing with the opposite sex and someone who was completely outside of my social circle didn't have to be so awkward and uncomfortable. I have to say a big thank you to Scott wherever you are today for instilling in me some confidence and courage to get through social situations I would have never thought possible.

These days, as a mom, I think it's important to get out there, set an example and involve my kids in different social activities so that they will be spared some of the torturous moments I went through. I'm proud of my son when I see him going up to random groups of kids and asking if they want to play or if he can see their Pokemon cards. It's something I would have never done, and really don't do now. Which is why it came as a huge surprise to me when I was recently asked if I wanted to appear on a new TV show coming soon to one of the major channels and I said, "yes." (OK, I admit it, I recently saw Yes Man and I may have taken the movie's moral a little bit much too heart.). So last weekend, that is what I did. I filmed a segment for a TV show. It was probably one of the most stressful things I have ever done and between my lack of sleep in the days preceding the taping and my urge to vomit every time I thought about it, it's amazing I survived the experience. But you know what? It was great and it's something I will look back on proudly for the rest of my life. Not to mention that my kids thought I was really cool too (well, just for a few minutes there)!

So, I will of course report back here when I have the details of when it will air. But I am looking forward to my 15 minutes of fame. (More like 4 but hey, it's all good with me). In related "starring" news, this morning I sent off 20 cupcakes to an advertising shoot for one of the big retail chains here in France. It's an uncredited gig and I wasn't invited to the shoot but honestly, this is sooooo much more in-line with my style. I'm happy to look on from the shadows as my cupcakes get their moment. Unless of course I find out Robert Pattinson, a/k/a Edward Cullen from Twilight, was involved in the shoot! Now that would have been an occasion worth mustering my courage for....at this point, I've had years of good training and I am pretty sure I could hold my own with the best of them! :)

PS the cupcakes featured here are from both today's ad shoot, another ad shoot I did this week (where the models supposedly..gulp..."ate" them!) and the cupcakes made during the TV show filming, and then afterwards by my son and nieces who went to town with our leftovers.

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